Inle Lake Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 429

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Day 1: Yangon

Welcome to Myanmar and the start of your epic asian adventure! Arriving into Yangon airport you will be met by our friendly local team and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: Yangon - Bagan

Today y fly to Bagan to explore its astounding temple filled plain. En route to your hotel visit the beautiful golden Shwezigon Pagoda and the 13th century Wetkyi-in Gubyaukkyi Temple with its lovely frescoes. Afternoon sightseeing includes key temples and a Burmese lacquerware factory before an evening excursion to Ananda, Bagan’s finest and most revered temple.

Day 3: Bagan

Enjoy a day trip to the village of Salay and Mount Popa today. Salay is home to many active monasteries including the impressive Yoke-son Monastery and its famous wood carvings. Mystical Mount Popa, is an extinct volcano which is believed to be the abode of spirits. 777 winding steps are carved into the side of the mountain, taking pilgrims up to the striking Popa Taungkalat monastery which sits atop the mountain.

Day 4: Bagan - Mandalay

Taking to the sky once more you fly to Mandalay, former capital of the Burmese Empire and spend the day exploring the city sights including the incredible golden Buddha of Mahamuni Paya. Then enjoy spectacular sunset views of the city from Mandalay Hill.

Day 5: Mandalay - Inle Lake

Today we head back to the airport for the flight to Heho, where on arrival you will transfer to picturesque Pindaya, located on the shores of Lake Pindaya to explore its remarkable caves which contain over 9000 Buddha statues before driving on to Nyaung Shwe.

Day 6: Inle Lake

Today we discover the delights of beautiful Lake Inle on a boat trip. See the stilted houses and various cottage industries of the Intha people and visit the famous Paungdaw Oo Pagoda.

Day 7: Inle Lake - Yangon

This morning we pay a visit to the Indein Pagoda, an incredible collection of weathered stupas dating back to the 13th century before flying to Yangon.

Day 8: Yangon - Saigon

Your Burmese adventure comes to an end after a final morning of sightseeing in Yangon including the Gaba Aye (World Peace) pagoda and Mahapasana Cave, a replica of the Satta Panni cave in India where the first Buddhist Synod (council) took place. The cave is 139 metres long and 110 metres wide. We then head to the airport for your flight to Saigon, Vietnam.Welcome to Saigon! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. This evening join your tour guide for a welcome dinner.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 9: Saigon

After breakfast, travel beyond Saigon and spend the day boating the waterways of the lush Mekong Delta region. Arriving in Cai Be district visit a local orchard and the Cai Be floating market where all buying, selling and bartering takes place from boats on the water. We continue on along village pathways to visit a local house for lunch where you will be served local delicacies such as Elephant’s-Ear fish. After lunch, take the time to explore the village as local's go about their daily lives. Returning to Saigon vist the Vinh Long markets en-route.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 10: Saigon - Hue

This morning discover the Saigon, taking in the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office and Chinatown. In the afternoon transfer to the airport to take a short flight to the imperial city of Hue. On arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy some free time.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 11: Hue

Today take a boat ride along the romantic Perfume River and stop off at the Thien Mu Pagoda on the banks of the river to see the 7-storey Stupa, the pagoda is also home to the old Austin car driven to Saigon by the Venerable Thich Quang Duc. Continuing, visit the mausoleum complex of Emperor Minh Mang (1791-1841), built between 1841 and 1843. Lunch is a special vegetarian meal with the nuns of Dong Thuyen Pagoda. Later visit the Imperial Citadel and Forbidden City, created in the 19th century for the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Enjoy some free time at Dong Ba Market before transferring back to your hotel.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 12: Hue - Hoi An

Today visit the mausoleums of the Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. Later on our drive to Danang, we stop for a refreshment at Lang Co beach one of the World’s most beautiful bays. Arriving in Danang we head out to visit the Cham Museum before continuing to the World Cultural Heritage Site of Hoi An. This evening enjoy some free time exploring the narrow lanes of the town, lined with century-old buildings and illuminated at night by hundreds of colourful lanterns.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 13: Hoi An

In the morning take a half-day excursion to My Son Sanctuary, a religious site dating back to the Kingdom of Champa, and also a burial place of Cham royals and Vietnamese national heroes. The My Son temple complex is one of the foremost remaining examples of Hindu influence in Southeast Asia and is the most prominent heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. After lunch at a local restaurant the afternoon is free to explore Hoi An Ancient town. Why not join our optional cooking class and learn the secrets to Vietnamese cooking, alternatively head to nearby Cua Dai beach or observe local life on a sunset cruise on the peaceful Thu Bon River.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 14: Hoi An - Hanoi

In the morning transfer to Danang airport for the short flight to Hanoi. Renowned as the ’Paris of the East’, Hanoi is one of Asia’s most fascinating cities. After transfer and check in we visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest in Hanoi and located beside the dazzling West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. Afterwards, take a short drive to Van Giang Village to attend a cooking demonstration given by a local family. Afterwards join the Vietnamese family in their home for a delicious lunch before driving back to Hanoi. The rest of the day is free.

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 15: Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning transfer from your hotel in Hanoi to Halong City, the drive takes about 4 hours and you will stop off for a refreshment break en route. Upon arrival meet the crew of the traditional Junk boat at the dock and cruise to the famous islands of UNESCO Listed Halong Bay and on to Bai Tu Long Bay. Aside from the cave visit and swimming, there is a chance to explore this stunning area by sea kayak. Return back to the Junk for a scrumptious dinner and watch an incredible sunset over the bay.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 16: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Rise early to take part in some morning exercise and witness the spectacular sunrise before weighing anchor. Today's cruising takes you through the Bay passing the beauty spots of Trong (Drum), Trinh Nu (Virgin) and Me Cung Caves and Coc Ngoi (Toad) Islet. Explore the Surprise Cave (Sung Sot) before a buffet brunch is served onboard. Later we cruise leisurely back to Halong harbor where upon disembarkation transfer back to Hanoi where a visit to the Temple Of Literature, dating back to 1070 and the first university in Vietnam. This evening is free to explore Hanoi further.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 17: Hanoi - Luang Prabang

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the short flight to Luang Prabang. On arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Later we visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, picturesque Wat Mai, the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roof sweeping low to the ground, and the classic, symbolic architecture of the Luang Prabang temples. The impressive Stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Aham. To top it all off climb to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded Stupa as well as a superb view over the town and Mekong river.

Day 18: Luang Prabang

Today take a boat ride upstream on the Mekong River to Pak Ou Caves, crammed with thousands of gold lacquered statues of the Buddha in various postures and sizes. En-route stop off at the village of Ban Xanghai, renowned for producing local rice wine. On return, stop to visit Ban Chan before travelling overland to the local villages at Ban Xiengmene to visit the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun, once belonging to the royal, and nearby Sackarine Caves. If time permits this afternoon a visit will be made to visit the weaving villages of Ban Xiengkhong.

Day 19: Luang Prabang - Siem Reap

After breakfast transfer to the airport for the short flight to Siem Reap. After being met on arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. In the afternoon, enter the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple to be met by the marvellous wonders of the eerie Bayon, Phimean Akas, the terrace of Elephants and the terrace of the Leper King. Enjoy the sunset view over Phnom Bakheng.

Day 20: Siem Reap

In the morning visit famous Angkor Wat, built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. The largest and best preserved of the Angkor temples, it is also the most well known world wide and a source of pride for the Khmer people, Angkor Wat has appeared on the Cambodian flag for almost 150 years. After lunch, visit Preah Khan Temple, built in the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII. Then take a half hour journey to Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual of the Angkor temples. The temple lies approximately 20km north of the main group of temples and is constructed from elaborately carved red sandstone.

Day 21: Siem Reap

After breakfast, continue the journey of discovery through the wonders of Angkor. This afternoon set out for a cruise on the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake, passing a floating village and witnessing the daily life of the locals. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner with an Apsara performance before a transfer back to the airport for your onward flight home.